South Carolina Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act 2015 (H 3114)

Last updated: Jan 6, 2015

This law is Anti-Choice


South Carolina


H 3114




20-Week Bans, Later Abortion, Physicians Reporting Requirements, Reporting Requirements

Full Bill Text

H 3114 would ban abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization unless, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, an abortion is necessary to avert the woman’s death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition.

An abortion does not become necessary if the risk of death or a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function arises from a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that may result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

The bill as introduced contained no exception for medical emergency, rape, incest, and fetal anomaly. The House amended the bill to include such exceptions. The Senate amended it again to strip the exceptions from the bill.

The bill states that abortions performed after 20 weeks must be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive.

The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.

The purpose of the 20-week ban is to “assert a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain.”

Physician Reporting Requirements

Abortion providers would be required to report certain information to the state department of health, including:

  • if the determination of probable post-fertilization age was made, what was determined, and how it was determined;
  • if a determination of probable post-fertilization age was not made, why not—what was the basis for a determination that a medical emergency existed;
  • if the probable post-fertilization age was 20 weeks or more, the basis for a determination that a medical condition necessitated an immediate abortion to avert the woman’s death or serious injury;
  • the method used for the abortion;
  • age of the patient;
  • if the probable post-fertilization age was 20 weeks or more and an abortion was performed, whether the method performed provided the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive, and if not, why not.

Reporting Requirements

By June 30 of each year, the state health department would be required to issue a public report providing statistics compiled from all the reports provided by physicians.


This bill was amended and passed the House, but was filibustered in the Senate by Sen. Lee Bright who believes the amendment, which provides exceptions for rape, incest, and fetal anomaly, makes the measure too lenient. (Source.) The Senate amended the bill after House Republicans agreed to strip the exceptions from the bill. On June 4, 2015, a three-person committee was appointed to resolve the difference between the House version (with exceptions) and the Senate version (without exceptions).

The final bill (stripped of rape and incest exceptions) passed the legislature on May 19, 2016. Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill into law on May 25, 2016.

Companion bill to S 25S 28, and S 130.

Similar to H 4223, which failed to pass in 2014.